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Bali Gay Travel

Why do gay guys go to Bali? Well, thanks to Bali’s cultural openness, the island is the most gay-friendly place in Indonesia. Read on for Bali gay travel secrets, including where the gay guys stay!

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The Gay Travel Experience: Bali, Indonesia

Gay life in Bali is more prevalent than anywhere else in Indonesia. Bali is different from the rest of the country as it is one of the only places in Indonesia where Hinduism is practiced. Gay life in Bali fares much better than greater Muslim-majority Indonesia. Bali is completely safe for gay travelers and the island is very gay-friendly.
gay travel South Bali
The Balinese specifically practice Balinese-Hinduism, called Agama Hindu Dharma. The charming offerings the community places on the streets and outside their homes is beautiful and shrouds the island in a gentle peace. Gay travelers will love it!
bali massage
gay travel South Bali
bali massage

Bali has experienced explosive tourism over the past decade and it is no longer an island known to few. For context, Bali is building a brand-new airport to cope with the intense traffic around Denpasar.

Knowing this, you should tread carefully to avoid tourist traps and use this guide to explore the best of Bali. There are still many authentic sites to see.
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Gay Bali: Where to Stay

You will arrive in Denpasar airport in South Bali, where the majority of tourism is concentrated. On the southern part of the island, there are several districts to choose from including Jimbaran, Kuta or even further south on the peninsula.
gay friendly hotels in Bali

Where to Stay in South Bali

I highly recommend staying in the Jimbaran area. Jimbaran is quieter and comprised of mainly resorts. Beaches are more tranquil compared to neighboring Kuta and other areas north of the airport. While in South Bali, I stayed a couple of nights at the Four Seasons Resort.
breakfast in Bali
gay friendly hotels in Bali
best hotels in Bali

Without a doubt, the Bali Four Seasons Jimbaran was the most magical hotel I have ever stayed in. If you can get a deal here, you won’t regret it. The resort has every single detail and process perfected. I couldn’t help but smile everywhere I went.

The Kuta area, north of the Bali airport, is much busier and has much cheaper accommodations. I stayed in a hotel here for a few nights as a landing pad as I explored the south of the island. I must warn you, however. Kuta is a tourist center; it is very inauthentic.
bali luxury hotels
breakfast in Bali
bali luxury hotels

It takes a lot for me to dislike an area, but is was downright frustrating to walk around in Kuta. Constantly bombarded by men asking if I wanted to rent a motorbike or receive a massage, I found myself avoiding the town center at all costs. Literally, every 10 seconds I had to avoid eye contact.

Long story short…skip Kuta unless you’re just passing through for a meal. Bali gay travelers will be much happier choosing an area farther north.

Where to Stay in Central Bali

Ubud is a fantastic place to stay. You can find relative seclusion here, with the convenience of having a vibrant central town where locals are cheerful. I stayed in an adorable and spacious guesthouse called Bali Home 68. It was only a five-minute walk to the town’s main road.
Pantai Plix bali beach
Pantai Plix bali beach
gay travel boat ride in bali
If I had more time, I would have spent it further north on the island. Given north Bali is harder to get to, it is far less traveled. The island is quite large! Based on the plethora of Instagram photos these days, there is no doubt that north Bali is magical and offers the best scenery.

Bali Experiences for the Gay Traveler

If you happen to be in Bali during a full moon or new moon, go visit one of the larger temples near you in the early evening to see some large local celebrations. During these times, women dress up in even more extravagant Balinese traditional outfits. Cheerful locals flood the streets as they finish up their temple festivities.

Kuta, Bali
I absolutely loved hopping on a motorbike and driving around to explore as much of Bali as I could. This is a super cute idea for gay couples in Bali. Grab you lover on the back of a motor bike and take in the scenery. The farther north you go, the more romantic the rides will be.

Things to Do in South Bali (& What to Avoid)

Head to Dewi Sri Food Center for cheap, tasty local food! This place is filled with locals each evening. Pork belly, chicken satay and other Southeast Asian mainstays await!
Jimbaran Bay is the go-to spot for beachgoers in south Bali. Full transparency: the water is not blue! Although perfectly swimmable and relatively clear, I would not say that Bali tops the list of best beach destinations.
gay travel boat ride in bali
The gay traveler will be much happier making good use of a private pool in their accommodation. This is what we’re all yearning for, right? Get one of those floating breakfast trays and treat yourself like a queen!
I love Bali for the stunning inland landscapes. There is so much scenery to take in. So, go enjoy them and don’t stress if you skip the beach.
bali gay travel photo spots
Kuta, Bali
bali gay travel photo spots
Avoid Kuta Beach at all costs. I truly wonder why tourists come to this beach. It is filled with trash and aggressive children trying to sell bracelets. Instead, I recommend heading to Pantai Plix, a spot where the locals hang! About 30 minutes south of Kuta, Pantai Plix is a small cliff where you can enjoy a serene view.
Jimbaran boat ride bali
Balinese beer
Jimbaran boat ride bali
This beach is not swimmable because it is more of a rock formation with crashing waves. However, the algae along the rocks and ponds of water in the sand are very cool! Although it’s a little gritty and treacherous, it is a perfect fit for the gay explorer. Motorbikes and gasoline are very cheap, so you can still make the trip even if you’re a bit far.

Things to Do in Ubud & Central Bali

Most travelers are stoked for the Bali rice terraces. I visited Tegalalang Rice Terrace, which is about a 20-minute drive north of the Ubud town center and it was absolutely stunning. Others may have opinions about which rice terraces are best, however I was thoroughly thrilled with Tegalalang!
gay travel to Ubud
bali experiences
gay travel to Ubud
I quickly became a regular at Namaskara Coffee, an absolutely adorable café in Central Ubud. They have authentic Balinese food, fast Wi-Fi, and stellar cappuccinos to say the least. If you can make it here, get the red sticky rice in hot coconut milk with mango & banana. I got it three days in a row before heading out to explore. I won’t forget this dish!
gay travel Ubud bali
gay travel Ubud bali
rice terraces in Ubud bali
Central Bali is home to hundreds of wood carving and handcrafted-furniture shops. Balinese wood carving goes back many centuries and is a huge tradition in the Ubud region. There’s no better memento for a gay couple than a handcrafted piece from Ubud! Why not pick up a small decoration for a fireplace or coffee table?
There are many boutique shops in Central Ubud selling high quality clothing and often decorative home items. I grabbed some new shorts from Lost Paradise. The ability to walk around and peruse all sorts of small shops and cafes is another reason why I love Ubud.

Bali Gay Travel: More Things to Do

The Lempuyang Temple is a crowd favorite for photo-taking. I didn’t have time to check out this spot, but it looks stunning with the volcano in the background! However, I am also a big proponent of not following the crowd. Why not try to find a beautiful temple that no one else has been to?
delicious balinese food
delicious balinese food
gay travel in bali Indonesia

Many travelers in Bali book very cozy accommodations that meld in the surrounding landscape. I’m sure you’ve seen these fairytale-like resorts on Instagram and wondered where they are. Most of these places are up north.

gay travel in bali Indonesia
If you’re staying in a place like this, there is nothing wrong with just chilling in your resort enjoying the majestic surroundings! I’m definitely guilty of spending a day or two lounging around.

Bali Gay Bars & Nightlife

Most bars in Bali are clustered in Kuta. There are plenty of bars and even a few establishments frequented by the gay community. I chose not to spend any time in Bali gay bars though as the area was filled with tourists and it was raining every night.

Balinese beer

Mixwell Bar is the crowd favorite Bali gay bar. I cannot give an opinion on Mixwell Bar though since I didn’t stop by. If you’ve been, leave a comment below and let me know how it was.

Overall I think it was better to explore the wonderful nature of Bali instead of hanging out at gay bars in south Bali. Bali is not too much of a gay party destination, so for me, it seemed better to explore the best of what the island has to offer.

Bali Gay Travel Tips!

If you are traveling with your significant other, there should be no problem with sharing one bed in a single room. Many resorts, especially western hotels, will recognize and accommodate gay couples as they would any other couple. The tourism in Bali is definitely used to people of all walks of life.

hindu temple bali festival

While in Ubud, I lost my debit card, unable to pull out cash. I quickly learned that most of Bali is a cash-only society. Especially while in Ubud and the north of the island, make sure you have enough cash on hand.

Jimbaran Bay where to stay
hindu temple bali festival

Pretty much every establishment is cash-only in this area no matter how modern they appear. Just a tip: keep a backup card(s) in a separate spot in case something happens!

Jimbaran Bay where to stay
The Aspiration debit card has no bank fees, no withdrawal fees and no international fees. I use Aspiration and it’s a million times better than any big bank. Using my link will get you 25$ free cash!

What’s the Best Season to Visit Bali?

I visited Bali during the rainy season and I still loved it! Wet season in Bali is from October to April. The rest of the months are relatively dry. Even during the wet season, there are still some clear days.

bali wet season
My favorite thing about the Bali rainy season was the nightly thunderstorms. I fell asleep to calming thunder every single night. If you are short on time, it’s probably best to visit during the dry season, as some days can be too rainy for long bouts of exploring.
bali wet season
gay Bali
gay Bali
If you can afford to spend more time in Bali, the rainy season is perfectly fine. Mornings in the rainy season are pretty much always rain-free. After sunset, rain is common.
Don’t forget to pick up a poncho at a convenience store. I saw many people caught in the rain without one. Also, it’s not unfashionable to wear one here. The locals wear them too!

Gay Ubud: Tips for Visiting

If you are seeking total seclusion, you should be aware of the fact that Ubud is still quite bustling in the town center. When I visited, I thought it would have been quieter along the main stretch, but the roads are busy!

rice terraces in Ubud bali
The most secluded and private places are farther north. If you are looking for a place where there is truly no one around, go as far north on the island as you can.

Taxis in Bali: Advice

Here’s a tip for a great conversation starter with your local taxi driver. Ask them about how they make their daily offering baskets. You will see these cute hand-made creations everywhere while walking around

They are commonly filled with flowers, rice, fruit and sometimes coins. They are put out three times a day, every day to show gratitude. Your driver will gladly talk about his local religion and how it is so unique.
hindu offerings bali local culture
hindu offerings bali local culture
getting an airport taxi

When getting a taxi at the airport, use the curbside registered local taxi stand. They will give you the cheapest price. The storefront inside the airport will charge you triple the fair price and the local guys standing by the exit will charge you at least double.

getting an airport taxi
Also, for your reference, a ride from Jimbaran/Denpasar to Ubud costs around 300,000 Rupiah and it is about an hour and 30-minute drive, depending on traffic. A ride from the airport to Jimbaran should be 150,000.

Indonesia Gay Life

Broadly, Indonesia is a difficult country for LGBT people to live in, and the situation is only getting worse. Although there are no specific laws against same-sex sexual relations in the majority of the country, the government is actively attempting to criminalize it.
There are no protections in place for the gay community in Indonesia and coming out as gay presents personal social challenges to many.
The Aceh and Palembang local governments specifically criminalize homosexuality, as they operate under stricter local Islamic law. These areas of Indonesia are becoming increasingly harsh as they pass laws that criminalize the LGBT community. Local Islamic organizations seek out and prosecute any homosexual activity.
best hotels in Bali
Indonesian cities such as Jakarta experience numerous raids on places where gay individuals are thought to congregate. Many LGBT citizens face arrests and harsh punishments for being themselves.
Human rights organizations rightly denounced the many atrocities involving LGBT citizens that have taken place in Indonesia over recent years.
Bali, specifically is not so intensely anti-gay. As mentioned in the beginning of this guide, people here have much more liberal beliefs, stemming from their Balinese-Hindu practices. The gay community is well-tolerated in Bali, although the government still does not afford them any specific discrimination protections.
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Planning travel to other Southeast Asia destinations? Read the wolfyy gay travel guides to Saigon, Vietnam, Singapore and Phuket, Thailand.

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